If there were ever perfect role models for young esports fans, it has to be Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won and Matthew ‘Super’ DeLisi. The pair from San Francisco Shock, who recently won the Overwatch League Season 2 finals, joined Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show to talk about all things gaming.
The 19-year-olds shared their experience of winning the Overwatch League last week and picking up the incredibly heavy trophy, but it was their answers to some of the host’s other questions that have drawn attention.
Talking about how they got into esports and how they told their parents, the boys had very different experiences. Sinatraa actually waited until Christmas to tell his parents that he wanted to go pro because he “wanted them to be more willing” but Super’s experience was completely different.
“I would always stay up late and I’d be screaming in the house at like 1AM or 2AM, and my parents were coming into my room on school nights, asking me to go to bed and stop speaking,” Super tells Fallon. “But when I got my first esports contract, my dad had to co-sign it, because I was under 18, so I explained to him what esports was. The first thing he does is look up esports, finds a Forbes article about the growth of esports, reads about it, and lets me do it.”
The charismatic pair, who play Overwatch between eight and 12 hours a day, catered for the mainstream audience well, comparing their training to the NFL, and explaining why they spend so long sitting in front of their computers. In doing so, they also gave gamers some solid advice about following their dreams of going pro.
“I consider it [gaming] as an extracurricular thing,” Super says. “Most parents wouldn’t let their kids play football or baseball in school if they were failing or doing terrible in their classes, so keep on top of your responsibilities, be a smart person about it, but if this something you’re really into, and passionate about, then give it a shot.”
“But you have to grind a lot,” Sinatraa adds. “You’re going to be competing with other people who want to be the best, so you’re going to have to put a lot of time into this while balancing your life.”
So there you have it, if you want to be one of the best players in the world, you have to put in a phenomenal amount of work, win the support of your parents, and do well in school. With sound advice like that, hopefully, we’ll be seeing some more of esports’ big names on shows like this in the future.